Canberra Times, July 1

In recent years, human arbiters have happily allowed computers to take over the time-consuming and contentious task of deciding pairings for open tournaments.

Computers can easily be programmed to understand one of the many approved 'Swiss' systems which decide each player's opponents.

(The essence of a Swiss system tournament is that winners play winners, losers play losers, players alternate between playing with the White and Black pieces, and nobody is knocked out.)

In Australia, the Swiss Perfect (SP) pairings program has been heavily promoted by the national federation and has been adopted at almost all levels.

Unfortunately SP follows a version of the FIDE pairing rules which has a major deficiency.

SP therefore refuses to pair the tournament leader with his or her strongest rival if this would affect the challenger's colour alternation.

The consequence is that a large number of last rounds in Australian tournaments have been ruined through SP pairing the tournament leader against a low ranked opponent instead of the player with the best chance of challenging for first prize.

Many arbiters, especially in Queensland, stand by and let SP turn the last round into a no-contest, but at last weekend's Gold Coast Open, arbiter Charles Zworestine finally stood up to the computer.

When SP refused to play ball in the final round, Zworestine altered the computer output manually to ensure that the top two seeds met in the final round.

The tournament organisers and spectators were rewarded with the following spectacular upset.

Gold Coast Open 2001
White: G.Lane
Black: I.Rogers
Opening: Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 e6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Be3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Be7 8.Nc3 Qd8 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Ne5 Nb4!?

11...Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.f4 Rd8 should equalise but Black is looking for more excitement.

12.Bb1 Nbd5 13.a3 Nxc3?!

13...Bd7 was more sober.

14.bxc3 Qc7 15.Qd3 b6?

Now Black gets into a terrible tangle. 15...Bd7 was obligatory.

16.Bf4! Qb7 17.Re1! g6 18.Qh3 Bd7 19.Bg5! Nd5 20.Bh6 Ba4?

Since moving the rook allows White a mating attack with 20...Rfd8 21.c4 Nf6 22.Bg5 Rac8 (else 23.Bxf6 and 24.Be4.) 23.Qh4 Kg7 24.Qh6+ Kg8 25.Re3, giving up rook for bishop was advisable but 20...b5! was the only sensible way to do so.

21.Bxf8 Rxf8 22.c4 Nf6 23.Ba2 Kg7 24.d5! exd5 25.cxd5 Bc5

25...Nxd5 loses to 26.Qf3.

26.Qc3! Rc8 27.Qb2 Bd6 28.Ng4 Be7 29.Qd4 Bc2 30.d6 Bd8 31.Rac1 Bf5 32.Ne5 Rxc1 33.Rxc1 Qa6

Resignation was another viable option.

34.Nxf7 Qxa3 35.Qd2 Ne4 36.Qh6+ Kf6 37.Bc4 b5 38.Nxd8 bxc4 39.Qf8+ Kg5 40.Nf7+ Kf4 41.Re1 Qc3 42.Qh6+ g5 43.g3+ Kf3 44.Ne5+! 1-0

After 44...Qxe5 45.Re3+ Kg4 46.h3 is checkmate.

Lane thereby reached a four-way tie for first which included the ACT's Ian Rout but both were outpointed in the playoff by Stephen Solomon.

Gold Coast Open
Leading final scores:

=1.Rout(ACT), Solomon(Q), Zhao(N), Lane(N) 6/7;
=5.Rogers(N), V.Smith(NZ), Sonter(Q) 5.5.

Last month's Belconnen Club Championship resulted in a three-way tie between favourites Ian Wright, Ian Rout and Milan Ninchich.

Leading final scores:
=1.Rout, Wright, Ninchich 5.5/7;
4.Bragin 5;
=5.Grcic, S.Stojic, Doel, Ramakrishna, Griffiths, Morton 4.5.

The Southside CC Champion will give a simultaneous display at the Southside Chess Centre, Kambah, on July 5. Details: G.Butler 0404-856801